Dec 26, 2010

My Retirement Plan Is NOT Based on the Canada Pension Plan

Unlike the retirement plans of many Canadians, my retirement plan is not based on the proceeds from the Canada Pension Plan.

There are many reasons — but the main one is that this is just plain dumb.

Sure, the Canada Pension Plan is better than the American Social Security system in that it is a true trust fund where the American Social Security system is not (See Social Security Is a Secure Way )

Lately there has been a lot of debate in Canada about coming up with more retirement pension programs so people are better prepared for retirement.

Sociologists, bankers, and government officials are worried that the majority of Canadians won't have enough in their retirement plan portfolios to retire comfortably in the new retirement.

Some people have suggested expanding the mandatory Canada Pension Plan and others are suggesting a new voluntary retirement plan for the self-employed and for workers without a company pension plan.

This was one of my comments to an article regarding the Canada Pension Plan (CPP):

This was one of my comments to an
article about the Canada Pension Plan in the Edmonton Sun:

    "No doubt Ted Morton will get a great pension and that is a disgrace.

    In fact, the generous pensions that all government workers get is a disgrace.

    Plain and simple, the Canadian Pension Plan does not have to be expanded.

    The worst part of the Canada Pension Plan is that it is a form of taxation.

    If a single person pays $100,000 into the plan and dies at 59, the person's estate only gets a death benefit of $2,500.

    Why expand the Canada Pension Plan when it rips people off?

    Ultimately, a person should take full responsibility for their retirement and not rely on the government in any way, shape or form. That is what I have done. Any money that comes in is a bonus, coffee money, in other words.

    Ernie J. Zelinski
    Author of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
    (over 125,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)

Someone took issue to my comment and made these comment under the name "Don't Listen to Ernie":
    Just where did "Ernie" find someone stupid enough to publish his book?

    YMPE (the maximum amount of income one has to pay into CPP) for 2011 is going to be 48,300. The current contribution rate is 9.9% split between the employer and employee.

    The ONLY that someone can contribute $100,000 is if they worked 42 years. But, oops, CPP only counts 35.
This person is obviously very ignorant.
So I posted this additional comment"
    To: "Don't Listen to Ernie"

    As a self-employed, I pay both the employers' and the employess' portion into the Canadian Pension Plan.

    At 9.8 percent of maximum earnings this is $4,781 per year.

    Multiply $4,781 by 35 years and the total is $119,542.

    So who is the stupid person?

    Regarding my book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, it is the best-selling retirement book on in a saturated market, beating out name brand retirement books like the AARP Retirement Survival Guide and the Wall Street Journal Complete Retirement Guidebook.

    How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free has sold over 130,000 copies for a reason.

    Word-of-mouth advertising for this book from satisfied customers is what sells the book and will keep selling it for years to come while most retirement books are lucky to sell 5,000 copies in their lifetime. Many sell only 100 copies in their lifetime - and that is to family and friends.

    In other words, results don't lie!
    My retirement book rocks — not because I say so — but because the people who buy retirement books say so.

    I have earned $550,000 in pre-tax profits from How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free and will earn hundreds of thousands more over the next few years.

    Not too bad of a source of retirement income for my retirement plan — wouldn't you say?
I don't know about you, but I sure think that there are sure a lot of ignorant people out there.

Ever wonder about how these people get through life? They sure aren't sensationally creative, are they?

No wonder there are so many government programs and why certain factions feel more retirement planning programs are needed including expansion to the Canada Pension Plan.

Here are a few
quotations about retirement and money saving tips to help you achieve your retirement number and prepare for a prosperous retirement:

    Make money your devoted servant; otherwise, it will be an overbearing master.
    — Italian proverb

    "People who don't respect money don't have any."
    — J. Paul Getty, Billionaire Oil Tycoon

    "He who buys what he does not need steals from himself."
    — Anon

    "Getting money is like digging with a needle. Spending it is like water soaking into the sand."
    — Japanese proverb

    "Money will appear when you are doing the right things in your life."
    — Michael Phillips

    "When it comes to making more money, most people look at the world and see the same opportunity they’ve seen before: typically, a job. Because they don’t awaken their mind and expand their vision, they don’t see other opportunities. Yet opportunities do exist. So how do you change your thinking so you can see them? One way to jolt the brain out of its preconceived category thinking is to bombard it with new experiences."
    — Joe Vitale

    "He that lives upon hope will die fasting."
    — Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth

    "We have 14 children, our primary backup for our retirement. The best investment ever."
    — Anon, in response to article "Four ways 60-year-olds can save their retirement"

    "With money you're a dragon; without it you're a worm."
    — Chinese proverb

Ernie Z.

Dec 13, 2010

Book Marketing - Learn from the Best

Due to the success of my book How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free, I occassionally get e-mails from authors of other books including retirement books wanting me to give them my secrets for book marketing including my viral marketing techniques.

Here is an e-mail that I recently sent to one of the authors;


    If you want to be more successful at book marketing, just be different than everyone else with your marketing and question what everyone else is doing. Create opportunity from situations where no one sees any.

    See this great blog post by Bob Baker about book marketing.

    I couldn't have said this any better myself in a hundred years.

    Also, read my comment at the bottom of Bob's post.

    Pay partcular attention to the point of how much I respect John Reese for killing his Facebook Account with 5,000 so-called "Friends" and his Twitter account with 25,000 followers, I agree with John that social media has to be the biggest time waster for most people. It will also contribute to why most people will never write a book, let alone spend time doing some true creative marketing.

    But the most important thing is to learn from the best.

    My hero and mentor is Brendon Burchard, from whom I have taken both his Partnership Program and his Experts Academy Program. I will be using both to increase the sales of my books, particulary How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free so that it reaches 500,000 copies sold.

    Brendon actually got $500,000 in Sponsorship for his second book before the book was even written.

    I could also tell you about Eben Pagan and John Reese from whom I have taken incredible programs and from whom I also have learned a lot, but I find that most people are not prepared to pay for their programs. So often my advice is wasted. These two quotes are relevant:

      If small money does not go out, big money will not come in.
      — Chinese proverb

      People that pay for things never complain. It's the guy you give something to [for free] that you can't please.
      — Will Rogers

    In short, Brendon is the best teacher out there and offers incredible value. If you want to learn some amazing things, take his Experts Academy Program. If you want to be like the majority, then just forget about it and settle for mediocre results. Spend your time looking for the meaning of life instead of book marketing.

    Ernie J. Zelinski
    Best-Selling Author, Innovator, and Creativity Consultant
    Author of the Bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
    (Over 125,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
    and the International Bestseller The Joy of Not Working
    (Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

Dec 11, 2010

Retirement Places, Success, and Self-Publishing

A recent article in a major publication discussed some of the best places to retire outside the United States.

The writer of the article had a note toward the end of the article about how no other country could compare to the United States:

This was the comment that I left:

    This a great article with a lot of valuable advice, much better and more than
    most people could ever offer.

    I must take issue with this statement, however:

    "Understand that no other country on earth is as comfortable or as convenient as the United States of America."

    There have been many international studies done that don't have the United States as the top place to live. Far from it, in fact.

    For instance, International Living Magazine ranked 194 countries to reveal the Best Places to Live in its 2010 Quality of Life Index.

    It considered things such as Cost of Living, Culture and Leisure, Economy, Environment, Freedom, Health, Infrastructure, Safety and Risk, and Climate.

    International Living Magazine placed the United States as #7 behind Switzerland, Germany, France, Australia, Luxemberg, and New Zealand.

    Being #7 is a bit of a distance from being #1, wouldn't you say?
In a different vein, I came across a Squidoo Lens lately that had a few quotations about success on it.

This was my commment:

    These inspirational quotations about success are okay:

    There is one that is not here which is my favorite success quote of all time, however:

    "There is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way."
    - Christopher Morley

    Like you, I have several collections of quotations on several websites

    The quotation by Christopher Morley is the one I placed as the #1 of the Top-10 success quotes on my webpage of Sensational Quotations about Success for Smart People Website.

    This quotation more than any other reflects my philosophy that I write about and which has helped my becoming a successful international best-selling author, published in 28 countries, with 650,000 copies of my books sold worldwide.

    Ernie J. Zelinski
    Author of The World's Best Retirement Planning Book
    (Over 125,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
    and The Joy of Not Working
    (Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)
In still another vein, several people on a LinkedIn discussion group have suggested that self-publishing should be banned.

This was my response:

    My guess is that the people who are against self-publishing are people who themselves are too lazy or too inept to make self-publishing work for themselves.

    Many books such at Mutant Message Down Under and Rich Dad, Poor Dad were first self-published. When the books proved themselves by selling hundreds of thousands of copies, major publishers gave big advances to take them books over. If these great books that sold millions had not been self-published, they would never have been published.

    At the same time major publishers have published tens of thousands of books that, according to their success in the marketplace, shouldn't haven't been published in the first place.

    These two quotes apply:

    It's not creative unless it sells.
    — David Ogilvy

    A market is never saturated with a good product, but it is very quickly saturated with a bad one.
    — Henry Ford

    In the end, it is the book buyers who will decide which books should have been published and which shouldn't have been published.

    That is the way it should be — it's the book buyers' money. The book buyers should be the ones who have final say on what succeeds and what doesn't.

    Ernie J. Zelinski, Living Smart in a Crazy World
    Author of Book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
    (Over 125,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
    and The Joy of Not Working
    (Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

Nov 20, 2010

An Unreasonable Retirement Plan Combined with Creative Action Will Beat Any Reasonable Retirement Plan

The new retirement keeps changing and likely will keep changing for quite some time.

An article entitled 11 Signs You Won't Be Retiring in 2011 (on gave the following signs why your retirement plan will not allow you to retire next year:

    1. You Have Set a Date With Death.
    2. You Never Worry About Scams.
    3. You Have Credit Card Debt.
    4. You’re Still Supporting Your Family.
    5. You Don’t Know What Your Social Security Benefits Will Be — Or Won’t Be.
    6. You Have a Significant Mortgage Balance.
    7. You Don’t Have a Budget.
    8. Your Budget Depends on Investments Appreciating or Paying Dividends.
    9. Your Budget Doesn’t Cover Medical Expenses.
    10. Your Retirement Plan is Just a Plan.
    11. You Love Your Job.
This was the comment that I posted (but rejected, likely because the author of the article is too hard-headed or too much in denial that unorthodox retirement plans may just work a lot better than conventional ones):

You are being too reasonalble.

For the record, I have never had a budget and I don't ever intend to have one.

I am pretty good at saving money and have been able to avoid debt, however.

I certainly won't be retiring completely in 2011 but I did semi-retire in my early 40s when my net worth was MINUS $30,000.

Based on my financial position today, I am in much better position to retire in 2011 than most Canadians and Americans my age.

I decided to work only 4 hours a day when I semi-retired 20 years ago and forget about any company pension plan or government pension plan as part of my retirement plan.

I am now 61 and I don't anticipate many financial problems in retirement.

Of course, most "reasonable" people will say this it is impossible to semi-retire when one is in debt — and it is for reasonable people!

My retirement plan is unreasonable but it works.

As Jack Canfield says, "Results don't lie."

These creativity quotes give an indication of the philosophy on which my retirement plan is based on:

"The wrong way always seems more reasonable."
— George Moore

"The more you reason the less you create."
— Raymond Chandler

"Reason is a harmonising, controlling force rather than a creative one."
— Bertrand Russell

"I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's; I will not reason and compare: my business is to
— William Blake

"The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them."
— Mark Twain

In short, an unreasonable retirement plan — one that defies convention — combined with creative action will kick butt over any reasonable retirement plan espoused by traditional financial and retirement planners.
Retirement planning should be left up to the individual and not to financial planners, many of whom themselves likely have not saved enough to ensure an adequate retirement income and are ones who just a few years ago were telling people how great of an investment a house was and how accumulating debt was a great way to live.

Ernie J. Zelinski
Author of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
(Over 125,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
and The Joy of Not Working
(Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

Nov 2, 2010

Social Security as a Retirement Plan Is Less Secure than Winning the Lottery

I regularly read articles related to Social Security, retirement, and pensions so that I can keep my retirement plan tuned up for any changes that may affect it and so I don't have to go looking for a retirement job.

This is my comment to a USA TODAY story relating to retirement planning titled Assume you won't collect anything from Social Security.

You are right to say "Assume you won't collect anything from Social Security."
I have always said don't rely on any government-run pensions fund as part of your retirement plan.

But this applies to baby boomers as well.

I recently wrote an article on my Redroom author blog called "SOCIAL SECURITY IS A SECURE WAY TO FIND GREAT PLEASURE IN BEING TERRIBLY DECEIVED"

As I indicated, even winning the lottery as a retirement plan (as stupid as it is) is a safer bet than counting on Social Security.

The entire American Social Security System is actually a giant Ponzi-type pay-as-you-go scheme that takes the payroll taxes of Americans who are still working and distributes it to American retirees.

Referring to the American Social Security System in a project called Retiring With Dignity, William Shipman, a CATO Institute researcher, noted :

“Any surplus [in Social Security] is not saved or invested for pensioners. Those funds are borrowed by the federal government to pay current operating expenses and replaced with government bonds. The federal government lends itself the excess in return for an interest-paying bond, an IOU that it issues to itself .... The funds [ in Social Security] are not invested for the benefit of present or future retirees.”

What a brilliant idea, having the American government borrow money from itself and issue IOUs to itself, promising to pay it back sometime in the future as retirement income to its citizens!
This would be okay if the U.S. government in itself wasn't so largely in debt that it can be considered bankrupt big time.

So, would you trust an IOU from someone or an entity that is bankrupt big time?
If the figures in the article called The Scary Actual US Government Debt in last Wednesday's Globe and Mail are true, the U.S is even further in debt than 98 percent of Americans are willing to admit and the Social Security system is even in greater and imminent danger.

If the U.S. government is actually about $200 trillion in debt instead of under $20 trillion, it may not be able to pay Social Security within 5 years or so.

Of course, most Americans are in denial about how much debt their government has incurred and can't accept that the Social Security system is in fact bankrupt.

Again, Social Security as a retirement plan is less secure than winning the lottery.

Unfortunately, many North Americans now suffer from a sense of entitlement and are not willing to take responsibility for their lives. This has in part contributed to the serious economic conditions today. If people learned how to save and pay cash for anything they purchased, we would have few people in serious debt and relying totally on Social Security as their retirement plan.

I worked less than half of my adult life and I have no debt problems simply because I learned a long time ago how to live way below my means. Incidentally, I drive a 1995 Camry even though I can purchase a brand new car for cash. What's more, I have about 10 credit cards but have never paid one cent of credit-card interest in the last 20 years. This is a result of taking responsibility for my retirement plan.

As an aside, I thought my net worth was about $13.5-trillion more than that of the U.S. government, given that I have no debt.

If the figures in the Globe and Mail article are true, my net worth is actually about $200-trillion more than that of the U.S. Government.

I bet most people didn't know that I was that rich.

Ernie J. Zelinski
Author of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
(Over 125,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)

Here are a few retirement quotes to keep things in perspective:

Waiting until your retirement party is too late to start planning your portfolio.
— Richard Wastcoat

You are only as rich as the enrichment you bring to the world around you..

— Unknown wise retiree

If you retire right the only thing you will worry about is when to eat and when to sleep.
— Author Unknown

The shortest and best way to make your fortune is to let people see clearly that it is in their interests to promote yours.
— Jean de La Bruyére

Oct 29, 2010

Find Your Perfect Retirement Job?

Perhaps, like many retirees and soon-to-be retired individuals, you are looking for the perfect retirement job.

Any new career book catches my eye given that I have written a career book myself (Career Success Without a Real Job).

So when I received a Google Alert saying, Ambitious advice book fails to succeed, I had to check it out.

The story was on Daily and was a review of a book called Find Your Perfect Job. (To me the perfect job is an unreal job and not a real job.)

The reviewer says:

    Self-help books, truthfully, cannot do much to jumpstart a burgeoning career, besides take a $20 bill out of the buyer’s pocket. The very least the text can do is inspire the reader or at least share the author’s story to set a good example or warn against the pitfalls of the universe.
    Find Your Perfect Job hardly does any of that. Smith instead reminisces about his own experiences and, in the end, narrows the perfect job to a career involving business, consulting or law. At some points, he does outline truly useful advice. It’s the kind of advice, however, that the Career Planning & Placement Center e-mails to students daily. It’s the kind of advice that can be found on an Internet forum. It’s even the kind of advice, one can say, that most semi-functional students have already heard and taken to heart.

Even if I have not read the book, I would tend to disagree with the reviewer, particularly with the statement: "Self-help books, truthfully, cannot do much to jumpstart a burgeoning career, . . " What a bunch of crap! It's like saying cookbooks won't do anything to help people cook a decent meal.

In fact, a person who read the book takes the reviewer to task with some of the things that she has said in the review.

Interestingly, Find Your Perfect Job now has 12 reviews on Amazon. They are all 5-star reviews except for one which is a 4-star review. This is darn good

It appears that the book reviewer can't recognize a valuable book.

"The best effect of any book," stated Thomas Carlyle, "is that it excites the reader to self-activity."

True enough. If a book even motivates one reader to alter his or her life, it already is a winner.

Of course, there will still be critics no matter how valuable a book is to many readers.

Most of these critics are, as Werner Erhard once said, "opposition looking for something to oppose."

These quotes about writing and writers apply:

    Writing is a profession in which you have to keep proving your talent to people who have none.
    — Jules Renard

    Nobody ever committed suicide while reading a good book, but many have while trying to write one.
    — Robert Byrne

    Writers may be disreputable, incorrigible, early to decay or late to bloom, but they dare to go it alone.
    — John Updike

    There is probably no hell for authors in the next world - they suffer so much from critics and publishers in this.
    — C. N. Bovee

Here are some more work quotes to help you find the perfect retirement job:

    The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous. — Margot Fonteyn

    More men are killed by overwork than the importance of the world justifies.
    — Rudyard Kipling

    Find a job you like and you add five days to every week.
    — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

    Life is mostly froth and bubble.
    Two things stand like stone:
    Dodging duty at the double,
    Retiring and leaving work alone.
    — Unknown Wise Retiree

Oct 28, 2010

Retirees Blaming Credit Cards for Their Debt Are Not Taking Responsibility

This is an excerpt from a recent article titled More Retirees Bankrupt, Blaming Credit Cards which reported on a study that found some retirees are having a hard time with their debt management.

    Credit card fees and interest rates are the factors most often cited by elderly bankruptcy filers, according to the study. Two-thirds of those age 65 and older blamed their credit card for leading them into bankruptcy, while only about half of those under 65 listed this as a reason. In fact, the data also showed that the elderly tend to have accumulated about twice as much credit card debt as younger bankruptcy filers.
This was my comment on the article:

    This statement is highly questionable:
    "Two-thirds of those age 65 and older blamed their credit card for leading them into bankruptcy."
    Have these people ever considered blaming themselves for their debt instead of the credit cards? Credit cards can't act on their own. Plain and simple: These people are responsible for their debt and not the credit cards. These 3 inspirational quotations from The Sensational Quotes Website should put things in perspective:
      "Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses."
      — George Washington Carver
        "Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame."    — Erica Jong "If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches."— Rainer Maria Rilke
      Unfortunately, many North Americans now suffer from a sense of entitlement and are not willing to take responsibility for their lives. This has in part contributed to the serious economic conditions today.
      If people learned how to save and pay cash for anything they purchased, we would have few people in serious debt, and more people who would have a better retirement plan.
      I worked less than half of my adult life and I have no debt problems simply because I learned a long time ago how to live way below my means. Incidentally, I drive a 1995 Camry even though I can purchase a brand new car for cash. (See these car quotes to get a better grasp of why cars can create debt problems for you.) What's more, I have about 10 credit cards but have never paid one cent of credit-card interest in the last 20 years. This is a result of taking responsibility and not blaming credit cards or others people.
      Ernie J. Zelinski

    Oct 25, 2010

    My Retirement Plan Is Being Hindered by Too Much Choice

    I have been wondering why I haven't been getting much done lately so that I can work toward my retirement plan.

    I just found out the reason: I have too much choice — too many great projects to work on including a new book called How NOT to Retire BROKE: Create $250,000 or More for Your Retirement in Seven Years or Less.  (Also because I have been fighting people stealing my website and blog content so that I am not penalized for exact duplicate content).

    If you haven't seen this video, it's worth watching.

    Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz's estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.

    The Paradox of Choice

    Here is an e-mail that I received from a friend of mine who retired with virtually no assets except for an Airstream trailer and a car worth about $3,000.

    George has been happily retired with his main income from the age of 60 to 65 being $450 a month from the Canadian Pension Plan. Yes, that what Jim lived on.

    But Jim just turned 65 and will receive almost $1,500 a month with the Old Age Security and the Alberta Government supplement. (similar to what Social Security pays in the U.S.)

      I just finished listening to the Barry Schwartz and I couldn't agree more with what he was saying. I feel the same kind of paralysis he talks about when I go into a restaurant that has a six page menu and an even longer wine list. Invariably, after having had a reasonably good meal, I still leave wondering if there was something else I might have enjoyed more and, as he says, that feeling consequently diminishes the dining experience. I also have to admit that my happiness is tied directly to my lack of affluence, and therefore, to my distinct lack of choices in life generally (which others would call a near state of impoverishment and subsequently to a substantially lower set of expectations). It all makes perfect sense, this lifestyle of mine, thanks to Barry Schwartz. And thanks to you, Ernie, for passing this on. George
    Here are some retirement resources for enhancing your retirement:


    And here are some of the quotes from the Sensational Quotes for Smart People Website

      Life is full of uncertainties. Future investment earnings and interest and inflation rates are not known to anybody. However, I can guarantee you one thing . . . those who put an investment program in place[as a retirement plan] will have a lot more money when they come to retire than those who never get around to it.- Australian Finance Expert and Best-Selling Author Noel Whittaker
      After you marry, every asset either of you acquires is jointly held. That's why you both need to be in sync on your long-term financial goals, from paying off the mortgage to putting away for retirement. Ideally, you should talk about all this before you wed. If you don't, you can end up deeply frustrated and financially spent. - Suze Orman

    Oct 16, 2010

    Creativity Is the Key to Great Retirement Living

    If your retirement plan is not working out the way you would like, try being more creative in attaining your retirement dreams. That is what I have done for my retirement plan.Creativity is the ability to be different.

    Those who are ultra successful in retirement are those who are willing to try new and different things.

    They don’t follow the current trend that other retirees are following . . . they create their own!

    You should do the same.

    Here are a few creativity quotes to jump start your creativity:

    There is no great genius without a mixture of madness.
    — Aristotle

    Creativity varies inversely with the number of cooks involved in the broth.
    — Bernice Fitz-Gibbon

    The more you reason the less you create.
    — Raymond Chandler

    You can judge your age by the amount of pain you feel when you come in contact with a new idea.
    — Unknown wise person

    Use your brain. It's the little things that count.
    — Graffiti

    Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.
    — Dr. E. Land (inventor of the Polaroid Camera)

    The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them.
    — Mark Twain

    Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.
    — American Proverb

    Creative minds always have been known to survive any kind of bad, training.
    — Anna Freud

    Creativity is coming up with an idea; innovation is getting off your butt and doing something about it.
    — Unknown wise person

    In short, when your retirement life isn’t working, change it.

    Start doing something new or put a new spin on the old retirement activities.

    Whatever it is you are doing, make it different from what the majority are purusing.


    Retirement Dreams Scary for Many

    Creativity Why Germany Is Getting Ahead of the U.S.?

    Oct 11, 2010

    Work Is What You Do So You Don't Have to Work Anymore

    Contrary to popular belief, unemployment and retirement are a time to build some real character. I am now 61 years old and have been unemployed for over half my adult life. This is a good thing, by the way. Whenever friends or acquaintances announce that they have either got  fired or laid off their jobs, my response is, “Congratulations.”

    After I said this to a friend who quit his job during an economic recession not so long ago, his face lit up, before he started laughing and remarked, “You are the only one who has said this to me. Everyone else is asking me things like ‘How could you during a recession? Jobs are so hard to come by!’ or ‘How are you going to survive?’ ”

    I congratulate people who have quit or lost their jobs because I know that for creative and innovative people who want real success in their  lives, this is an opportunity for them to go on to something not only better, but something great!

    Here are some of my favorite quotes about work and retirement to put work in proper perspective.

    #1 of Top-10 Work Quotes

    The work ethic is a terrible mistake — a cute term gone haywire.
    — from Life's Secret Handbook

    #2 of Top-10 Quotes about Work

    What work I have done I have done because it has been play. If it had been work I shouldn't have done it. Who was it who said, "Blessed is the man who has found his work"? Whoever it was he had the right idea in his mind. Mark you, he says his work — not somebody else's work. The work that is really a man's own work is play and not work at all. Cursed is the man who has found some other man's work and cannot lose it. When we talk about the great workers of the world we really mean the great players of the world. The fellows who groan and sweat under the weary load of toil that they bear never can hope to do anything great. How can they when their souls are in a ferment of revolt against the employment of their hands and brains? The product of slavery, intellectual or physical, can never be great.
    — Mark Twain

    #3 of Top-10 Work Quotes

    Gainfully unemployed — very proud of it, too.
    — Charles Baxter

     #4 of Top-10 Work Quotes

    By the age of 65, most of us have accomplished whatever work-related goals we are going to reach. If you haven't done it by then, chances are you aren't going to do it. Take the retirement, take the pension, take the Social Security, and sail off into the sunset.
    — Sue Lasky

    #5 of Top-10 Quotes about Work

    Working at a real job you don't like (instead of a unreal job you like) is a lame way to spend a good portion of your life.
    — Unknown Wise Person

    #6 of Top-10 Work Quotes

    Work is what you do so that sometime you won’t have to do it anymore.
    — Alfred Polgar

    #7 of Top-10 Work Quotes

    We live in the age of the overworked, and the under-educated; the age in which people are so industrious that they become absolutely stupid.
    — Oscar Wilde

    #8 of Top-10 Work Quotes

    All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.
    — Aristotle

    #9 of Top-10 Work Quotations

    In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it: they must not do too much of it: and they must have a sense of success in it — not a doubtful sense, such as needs some testimony of others for its confirmation, but a sure sense, or rather knowledge, that so much work has been done well, and fruitfully done, whatever the world may say or think about it.
    — W. H. Auden

    #10 of Top-10 Work Quotes

    If you hate your job, of all the thirty-seven alternatives, running away is best
    — Unknown wise person

    If more individuals read The Joy of Not Working and The World's Best Retirement Book, they  would be better able to handle leisure time and wouldn't have as many fears and worries about retirement.

    Oct 7, 2010

    Retirement Living Is Great If Your Wants Don't Become Your Needs

    I  just received a Google Alert that my name was mentioned in an article about retirement living in the Vancouver Sun.

    The article was titled Are Boomers Saving Too Much for Retirement - Not This One.

    I noticed that the reason my name was mentioned in the Google Alert was because Daryl Nelson, a commentor to the article, had mentioned my book  How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free in his words "as the only
    book on retirement I have found at all useful."

    Anyway, the article was written by Craig McInnes, who claims that he will need a lot of
    money in retirement. Here is one of his statements; "When I have time, I tend to spend more money, not less. On travel, on renovation projects, on shopping for things that I didn't realize I needed until I had time to look around and see what's available. Do you know you can buy wireless speakers now? Imagine how much better life would be if I could get rid of that rat's nest in the TV room."

    To me, an attitude like this is why the world has such big problems and why the American economy is in the tank with a lot of baby boomers not having saved enough for retirement. It also shows a lack of creativity.
    The following paragraphs were posted by me in response to the article:
    I have received hundreds of letters, phone calls, and e-mails from retirees confirming that they live on much less money once they have retired as compared to when they were working. These people live on a modest amount of money because they have their wants in check. "Also, Statistics Canada has confirmed that the average retiree lives on around 50 percent of pre-retirement income. These results don't lie. People can — and do — live on a lot less money in retirement.
    "Fact is, the key to living well in retirement is to be very clear about "needs" vs "wants."
    "There are two major problems with North Americans, particularly baby boomers:
    1. A need is any luxury that the neighbor happens to have

    2. Instant gratification takes too long.

    Plain and simple: Your needs have always been provided for — otherwise you would be dead! (Case closed!)
    "I have a retired friend named George who takes in only $1,500 a month (CPP, Old Age Security, and supplement) and still saves $400 to $500 a month.

    "Even a better example, another friend Ron has been getting only $450 a month from early CPP since he turned 60. He had no assets except for an inexpensive car and a older Airstream trailer in which he lives. He doesn't have to pay any rent because he has it parked on a friends land. Ron is one of the happiest people I have met. He just turned 65 on September 21 so with Old Age Security (the governmment should change the name to "New Age Security") and the supplement, he will now be making what George makes, around $1,500. Ron says that he will be able to live like a king on this. Incidentally, if you think that Ron is some sort of derilict, he isn't. On the contrary, Ron used to be a university professor and gave it up in 1990 because he didn't believe in teaching university students to be bigger consumers. When Ron appears in public, he comes across as more polished, distinguished, and intelligent than 95 percent of people in society.

    "These eight 
    quotations are some of my favorites to put needs and wants in proper perspective relative to happiness.

    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
    — Henry David Thoreau
    Be what you is, not what you ain't, 'cause if you ain't what you is, you is what you ain't. — Luther D. Price

    Abundance isn't a matter of acquiring how much money you desire; it's a matter of being happy with how much you presently have.
    — Unknown wise person

    If you want to know how rich you really are, find out what would be left of you tomorrow if you should lose every dollar you own tonight.
    — William J. H. Boetcker

    My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants.
    — J. Brotherton

    That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.
    — Henry David Thoreau

    If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.
    — Unknown Wise Person

    If I keep my good character, I shall be rich enough.
    — Platonicus

    For the record, I drive a 1995 Camry even though I can purchase 10 brand new expensive cars for cash. This alone proves that a new car is not a need but a want — just as most things that people say are needs. Even a used car is not a need because I could get by without a car if I really had to.

    The thing that most unhappy and dissatisfied people don't ever get is: "To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.
    Ernie J. Zelinski
    Best-Selling Author, Innovator, and International Life Coach
    Author of
    How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
    (Over 125,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
    The Joy of Not Working
    (Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

    Sep 22, 2010

    Worries and Fears about Retirement in Higher Education May Be Caused by Education

    This item comes from an article titled Worried About Retirement in the newsletter Inside Higher Ed.

      "In July, TIAA-CREF released a survey of employees in and out of higher education that found those who work for colleges and universities generally have high confidence levels in their retirement savings plans, and that they have more confidence than do the employees of the rest of American society.
      While that's good news for academic employers, a discussion of the survey at the annual meeting here of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources was not congratulatory at all. Rather, the discussion was about a general sense that academics may not be sufficiently informed to make the best decisions about savings (or to realize they have or have not reached their retirement savings needs).
      Given the concerns at many institutions about whether the economic downturn has delayed retirements, many here said they wanted to be sure that employees were at the very least making informed decisions and, in best-case scenarios, feeling accurately confident about their post-employment finances.
    Now why would academics have worries or fears about retirement? Perhaps worries about retirement in higher education may be caused by education.

    Some of the following quotes about education may give some explanation.

    #1 of Top-10 Education Quotes

    I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.
    - Michel de Montaigne

    #2 of Top-10 Quotes about Education

    The average Ph.D. thesis is nothing but a transference of bones from one graveyard to another. - J. Frank Dobie  

    #3 of Top-10 Education Quotes

    Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten.
    - B. F. Skinner

     #4 of Top-10 Education Quotes

    Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
    - Oscar Wilde

    #5 of Top-10 Quotes about Education

    I am inclined to think that one's education has been in vain if one fails to learn that most schoolmasters are idiots.
    - Hesketh Pearson

    #6 of Top-10 Education Quotes

    The aim of all education is, or should be, to teach people to educate themselves.
    - Arnold Toynbee

    #7 of Top-10 Education Quotes

    An education enables you to earn more than an educator.
    - Unknown Wise Person

    #8 of Top-10 Education Quotes

    Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and however early a man's training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly. - Thomas H. Huxley

    #9 of Top-10 Quotes Education

    Americans believe in education: the average professor earns more money in a year than a professional athlete earns in a whole week. - Evan Esar

    #10 of Top-10 Education Quotes

    An education obtained with money is worse than no education at all.
    — Socrates

    In short, if these people read The World's Best Retirement Book, they wouldn't have as many fears and worries about retirement.

    Aug 26, 2010

    How American Retirees Spend Their Retierment Life

    Ever wonder how American retirees spend their retirement life and the of Top-10 Retirement Activities that they indulge in?

    Here, according to a 2009 study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is "How Retirees Age 65 to 74 Spend The Hours in Their Day", "

    The figures are in hours and the results for the general American population (age 15 years old and older) are in brackets.
      Personal care activities (including sleeping) 9.55 (9.45)
      Eating and drinking 1.45 (1.22)
      Household activities 2.58 (1.80)
      Purchasing goods and services 0.86 (0.76)
      Caring for household members 0.07 (0.54)
      Caring for nonhousehold members 0.30 (0.21)
      Work 1.26 (3.53)
      Education 0.03 (0.46)
      Civic and religious activities 0.55 (0.34)
      Leisure and sports 6.77 (5.25)
      Watching TV 3.58 (2.61)
      Sports and exercise 0.35 (0.29)
      Socializing 0.59 (0.52)
      Reading 0.71 (0.33)
      Relaxing/thinking 0.44 (0.24)
      Leisure computer use 0.41 (0.36)
      Telephone calls, mail, and e-mail 0.25 (0.20)
      Other activities 0.34 (0.24)
    Social Security has become a controversial issue in the U.S. lately. See my comment in relation to Social Security Is a Great Way to Be Deceived

    Also see: Retirement Resources for Retirees
    For some new best retirement quotes see:
        Here are some new not-so-funny and funny retirement quotes that come from these websites and give retirement advice for retirees:
          "The new retirement reality may be a messy proposition"
          — Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

          "We have a manufactured vision of what retirement is, and that doesn't necessarily correlate with reality. Unless you have a well-thought-out scenario, you're going to be in for a shock at retirement."
          — Paul Allen, 64, a self-employed software developer in Dallas

          "It [retirement] was absolutely boring. You can't go and say, 'I'm retired now. That's it!' It won't take long and you're really gone for good and someone throws the last shovel of dirt on a coffin with your name on it. That's the moment you're really retiring — when you die."
          — Ozzy Osbourne

          If you have debt and you are going into retirement,
          I don't think you are ready for retirement,"
          — Gary Gilgen, a certified financial advisor and director of the financial
          planning department at Rehmann Financial in Troy, Mich

          Why shouldn't retirees expect some reduction in Social Security and Medicare benefits, and soon? Before we retired, or will retire, we lived beyond our means by voting for those congressmen who would keep taxes low and borrow from the trust funds to pay government bills. Woe to the politician who would ask us to fully pay the taxes necessary for the services we expected from government.
          This large accumulated debt to the funds is coming due. So we have an obligation to help pay it off by accepting less from them or paying higher taxes on our retirement income. As retirees, we have no right to just pass our debt off on our kids. We certainly helped create it and should help pay it off.
          — Werner Gruhl, Columbia

        Aug 8, 2010

        Saving Only 10 percent of Your Income is for Losers

        Are you saving enough for retirement so that you don't have to rely on Social Security for a meagre retirement income?

        I just came across an interesting website How the Average US Consumer Spends Their Paycheck:

        Interestingly, here is a comment by a guy named Rob:

          I am seriously living in the most expensive place in america or something. If an average household income is $63,091...

          Mine's $110,000 before tax and i still feel i am running low on money
        A guy by the name of Bob replied to Rob with:

          You are spending too much. I have 7 children (1 in Med school), we earn 72,000 (before taxes,)

          We have a 2,400 sq ft home with a beautiful valley view (no lights, people or buildings). We're able to save up to 30,000 a year if we choose to.

          So yes, you spend too much. Our housing at $800 per month is 12% of our income. My suggestion is to look at the chart pie and address the big pieces first.

          My guess is you spend way too much on housing and transportation. You probably drive an expensive car and commute. We use 1 car and live 1 mile from work. You could do the same if you chose to. You have to make and ego vs spending decision. Personally my ego does well knowing that we're building our nest egg by big chunks. Both our cars are paid off.

          We're into healthy food, so it is mostly veggies, fruit, beans and chicken. Very inexpensive. I'll bet you eat out a lot. 2 people eating $12 lunches each day adds up to $7,500 per year. That is 4 trips to Cancun. Its all about your ego and what you decide.

          Good luck my friend.
        This was my comment to Bob:

          Hey Bob:

          Congratulations on your saving habits. I love to hear about people like you.

          I am writing a book called How NOT to Retire BROKE: Prosperity Principles to Help You Create $250,000 or More for Your Retirement.

          In the book I have a chapter called Saving Only 10 percent of Your Income is for Losers.

          I talk about how I was able to save 30 percent of my income once I started making decent money.

          I was delighted to read on one website where some guy was saving 60 percent of his income because he didn't increase his spending as his income went up.

          Just like this guy, you are saving more than me. It appears that you are saving 40 to 50 percent of your after tax income.

          For people who are in debt or unable to save, I advice that they read Larry Winget's book called You're Broke Because You Want to Be.

          What I like about Larry Winget is that he tells readers that their excuses about not being able to save money are lies and that excuses are for losers.

          One of my favorite quotes of all time is by J.P. Getty who said: "People who don't respect money don't have any."

          To add to this, "People who are foolish with their money are foolish in many other ways as well."

          Ernie J. Zelinski
          Author of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
          (Over 125,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
          and The Joy of Not Working
          (Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

        Here are some quotes about saving money:

          Most people will never be able to retire and maintain even a
          hotdogs-for-dinner standard of living.
          — Timothy Ferris, author of The 4-Hour Workweek

          What good is freedom if you've not got the money for it?
          — Lillian Hellman

          Always remember: Money has no power of its own.
          — Suze Orman

          Don't buy expensive socks if you can never find them.
          — Unknownn wise person

          He who buys what he does not need steals from himself.
          — Unknown wise person

        Aug 3, 2010

        You Do NOT Need a Financial Advisor to Retire Comfortably

        This is a comment that I placed on US News in regards to their story Understanding the Psychology of Retirement Planning:

          I have worked less than half of my adult life and I didn't start saving for my retirement until I was in my forties. Even so, I will be okay in retirement with an adequate retirement income.
          I have never profited from any house appreciation because I rented for over 40 years. Moreover, I have never profited from stock investments because the majority of my savings are in safe investments. The key is to save 40 to 50 percent of your income once you start making a decent income so that you can enjoy being retired and experience 1001 Ways to Enjoy Your Retirement.

          I disagree with the author that you need a financial advisor. I have never used a financial advisor and I don't ever intend to use one.

          In fact, I would recommend to people that they stay away from financial advisors, regardless of whether they are fee-only or work on a commission basis. I don't place any credibility on whether they are accredited with any so-called financial association. These associations tend to be self-serving, trying to exclude others from the particular area of work.

          With so many baby boomers not having saved enough for retirement, what percentage of the baby boomers working as financial planners haven't saved enough for retirement themselves.

          Did these financial advisors see the housing bust coming and tell their clients to get out of housing? I bet over 95 percent of the financial advisors took a beating on their houses and investments because they were also the same ones advocating that a house is a great investment and that stocks were a great investment. If these people were so wrong, why would you place any trust in them? If they themselves haven't saved as much as they should have, they have no credibility with me and they should have absolutely no credibility with anyone else.

          If I ever considered hiring a financial planner, I would ask him or her to provide proof in the way of their own investments and assets over the last 10 to 20 years to convince me that they followed their own advice and that this advice paid off big-time for them.

          Incidentally, Larry Winget in his book You're Broke Because You Want to Be advocates similar advice in regards to hiring a financial advisor.

          In short, once you have a sizeable amount saved, consider hiring a financial person to help you invest your money but only if the person can prove that he or she has at least 10 to 20 times as much money as you have. If the financial advisor can’t prove to you with certified accounting documentation that he or she has saved a big amount of money using their own techniques, don’t hire him or her. Why would you want to pay someone to manage your money if he or she is broke or close to it? Trust me, you are liable to wind up broke yourself.

          Ernie Zelinski
          Author of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
          (Over 125,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
          and the forthcoming How NOT to Retire Broke: Prosperity Principles to Help Your Create $500,000 or Much More for Your Retirement

        Here are some retirement quotes and retirement sayings to help you with your retirement planning so that you retire rich and die broke:

          If you have debt and you are going into retirement,
          I don't think you are ready for retirement,"
          — Gary Gilgen,
          Director of the financial planning department at Rehmann Financial in Troy, Mich

          The biggest trouble maker you will ever meet watches you shave or
          put makeup on your face in the mirror every morning.
          — Unknown Wise Person

          Bill Hagen, work is now past you
          Allow me these words to say
          You are now free as a bird,
          Today is your retirement day.
          — Dave Erhard

          Early to Retire
          Late to Rise
          Leaves a man happy,
          less wealthy, and
          wife pondering,
          was it wise?
          Retirement T-Shirt for Sale on Zazzle

          The Ideal Retirement Plan: "Marry an old rich broad and wait for her to die."
          — Ivan Wilson (commenting on an online article about retirment.)

          I used to have dreams that I died at my desk.
          Now that I've retired, I don't have those dreams anymore.
          — Haselback (commenting on an online article about retirment.)

        Aug 2, 2010

        Retirement Planning: Reduce Your Standard of Living Today If You Want Any Standard of Living in Retirement

        Welcome to the new retirement where your retirement wishes may be fantasy. The odds are high that you will exhaust your retirement savings after 10 or 20 years of retirement, according to the latest Retirement Readiness Report.

        About half of those now aged 56 to 62 are at risk of not having sufficient retirement income to pay for basic retirement expenses and uninsured medical expenses, according to the study.

        The study also found lower-income retirees are most likely to run out of retirement savings after 10 and certainly 20 years of retirement, and higher-income retirees are least likely to run out of money.

        In fact, retirees don't run out of retirement income. As they age and wind down their assets, they reduce their standard of living dramatically.

        In other words, people do not completely run out of money even though the studies say that retirees will. They take action either to spend less or to go back to work to earn more retirement income.

        Other research found that about 65 percent of American households are at risk of not having enough retirement income to maintain their living standard in retirement.

        Both studies assume that people will retire at age 65.

        That is not likely, however. Many Americans are forced to retire earlier and most even if they want to work later cannot find a job in retirement. So before you make your retirement speech, include your spouse in your retirement plan, have some fun at work, and start saving big time - at least 30 percent of your income as I have been doing to insure that my retirement plan is sound.

        Plain and simple: Saving a lot more money and reducing your standard of living now might be the only way to be reasonably certain you will enjoy any decent standard of living in your retirement and be able to write letters about the joy of not working.

        Some retirement quotes to put things in perspective:
          People who don't respect money don't have any.
          — J. Paul Getty, Billionaire Oil Tycoon

          It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.
          — Oscar Wilde

          Money will appear when you are doing the right thing in your life.
          — Michael Phillips

          One week into retirement, you'll be so damned bored that you'll want to stick bicycle
          spokes into your eyes. You'll probably opt to look for another job or start another company. Kinda defeats the purpose of waiting [for retirement], doesn't it.
          - Timothy Ferris in The 4-Hour Workweek

          Teacher's Retirement Motto: I Used to Teach. Now I Have No Class.
          — Unknown wise person

          I have retired, un retired, and retired again all in the past 10 years.
          — Unknown retiree

          The Ideal Retirement Plan: Marry an old rich broad and wait for her to die.
          — Ivan Wilson (commenting on an online article about retirment.)

          It [retirement] was absolutely boring. You can't go and say, 'I'm retired now. That's it!' It won't take long and you're really gone for good and someone throws the last shovel of dirt on a coffin with your name on it. That's the moment you're really retiring — when you die.
          — Ozzy Osbourne